When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Pulling no Punches - Andy Narell, Arranger for birdsong Steel Orchestra, Speaks on the 2014 Panorama Season

An exclusive WST interview with Panorama arranger, recording and performing artist Andy Narell


Andy Narell“...You ask if I want to win Panorama.  In its present form, I would have to say it doesn’t interest me at all.  I would however like to be able to play my music at the finals, and have always considered that a privilege  worth striving for.  Every year I’ve participated I’ve tried my best to get my band there, and it’s very disappointing to not be invited to the party...”  Andy Narell

Global -  Panorama arranger for birdsong Steel Orchestra Andy Narell  shares his thoughts and speaks candidly about the recently-concluded 2014 Trinidad and Tobago National Panorama in an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks.  The annual Trinidad & Tobago Panorama is the world’s premiere tuned percussion competition.

Read full interview

Views: 6060

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Brian Henderson, what is the name of the tune Boogsie played in 1985 that he was booed, I would like to hear that song so I can Analyze it,

"Musical Wine" Bede you will have to dig deep for a copy!

Thanks Bertel, I will check with Glenroy

Thanks Rueben, But here is a better version of "Musical Wine" by Phase 2, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WfncKfQamg

I have followed this discussion from the start to page seven and refrained from making any contribution because I recognized that some people don't handle criticism or opposing views very well and tend to attack the messenger. However, I decided it was time that I contribute to the discussion.

I have a lot of respect for Andy Narell. I think that he is a very good composer of Steelband music―one of the best. However, as a Panorama arranger he may be lacking the "killer instinct." Remember Panorama is a competition and not a concert. No one goes to the beach in a Tuxedo. I love his arrangements but it's more of a "sit and listen" vibe, whereas, for example, Bradley's music makes you want to wine and do crazy things with your body even though it is laid back. Boogsie, Smooth, Jit and Pro gives excitement from start to finish. Robbie is sugar, Ray and Pelham are also very competent and cannot be underestimated. Douvone is in form now and his style is very interesting and competitive. Seion, BJ, Amrit, Clarence Morris and Ardin Herbert are also very talented and are learning very quickly. Andy has to come with his "A game" to make it into the Panorama final. He has to analyse the competition and win before he can change the status quo.

Also, I think that Andy's criticism of the present Panorama arrangements are very subjective. He refers to them as "Panorama cliches and formulas, chromatic runs and gimmicks." Isn't that also music? To me, these talented arrangers are taking musical tools and cleverly including them into a Panorama arrangement to create excitement, drama and suspense. When the great classical composers want to create drama and excitement they use chromaticism and other scales.The use of scales (runs) will always be a part of challenging and exciting music. What about the one note phrases? Many Jazz musicians create excitement by playing syncopated rhythms on one note. I can go on and on but I think I have made my point.

I will say this again―I will always love Andy's music. It is refreshing and sweet. However, I think he needs to understand that Panorama calls for a different approach. Andy, my bro, don't give up! I am looking forward to next year's presentation. God Bless, Cary Codrington (Senior).


Cary, time for Andy to step out of his box.

Cecil Andy is an arrogant disrespectful fella.  He can't step out of his box. He wants you to lower the rim because he too old to soca. Bradley, Jit and them other greats dunked on him decades ago.


Mr. Bugs,

Respects to you Sir.

Could we lift the tone of the discussion to the level of what pan people are seeking for the music? I am happy to see Mr. Codrington (Senior) join the discussion. I would also like to invite Boogsie and other Masters to join this thread so we can learn something, but I am afraid they may not want to align themselves with calling a fellow competitor, names such as mentioned above. I read your articles and I want to continue reading them with interest.

I believe there is a very important lesson here for us future arrangers, and future judges. So please, let's keep it on the up and up my good brother.

Come on Mr. Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, it's your turn to speak now.


Mr. Codrington you are a true gentleman. The truth of what you say is obvious.


I think Pat Bishop said it best when she described Panorama music as street music which she herself could not judge.  Panorama music is designed to spill out of the Savannah and into the street with a hard-driving tempo to keep mas players jumping past their point of exhaustion or midnight on Carnival Tuesday (whichever came first).

Narel,s genre of music may be successful in another forum but Panorama is one of few street music competitions we have and we should keep to tradition.  I am sure that Narel would never dream of trying to alter the type of music played at the Beethoven Festival or the Highland Music Festival.  Why should he ram

his kinda music down our throats? 

Well said..


© 2020   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service